Tiantai Meditation

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rory
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Re: Tiantai Meditation

Post by rory » Wed Feb 28, 2018 1:54 am

jake wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 10:43 pm
rory wrote:
Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:51 pm
Chigi (Zhiyi, Chih-I) critiqued Northern and Southern Ch'an for this, he received transmission from Ox-Head Ch'an.

Read this it's an excellent article by Paul Swanson the translator of Zhiyi's great work on meditation: Maka Shikan
https://www.academia.edu/1092296/Chih-i ... _Chih-kuan
gassho
Rory
Hi Rory,

Can you explain a bit more? I don't know to what your post refers when you write: "critiqued Northern and Southern Ch'an for this."

In the abstract of the article you reference it's written:
Further, although Chih-i and Bodhidharma were contemporaries, there is no indication that their paths ever crossed. There was no “Zen school” in Chih-i’s time, at least not in the sense of the later tradition that traces its lineage through Bodhidharma. Chih-i’s comments on “Zen/ch’an” refer to dhyana meditation, or to unidentified “Zen masters” 禅師 who apparently taught a form of Buddhism that emphasized the sole practice of meditation and thus were criticized by Chih-i as proponents of an
"extreme” form of Buddhism."
How did Zhiyi receive transmission in the Ox-Head Chan if, as Swanson says, there was no "Zen School" in Zhiyi's time? Or maybe I misunderstood something? :)

Gassho Jake;
the concept of explicit Ch'an lineages was a later development, first begun in Tiantai, here is an old but excellent thread that discusses the history.
viewtopic.php?t=15672
gassho
Rory
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu
Chih-I:
The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
Paul, Groner "The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Culture"eds. Tanabe p. 58
https://www.tendai-usa.org/

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Re: Tiantai Meditation

Post by Seishin » Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:34 am

To clarify a point, if I may;

Zhiyi did not receive transmission in Ox-head Chan, as the school didn't exist at that time. The school was founded by Niutou Farong 牛頭法融 (594-657). Zhiyi (538-597) may have known Farong's teacher, Dayi-Daoxin (580-651), but I can't find anything to support this, and Daoxin would have been 17 when Zhiyi died. It is also more than possible that Farong studied Tiantai, but again I can't find anything to support this, other than the knowledge that Tiantai was very influential in China and temples would often learn from each other.

However, Saicho (767-822) did indeed receive transmission in Ox-head, separate from his transmission in Tiantai. See here for more info: viewtopic.php?t=20815

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rory
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Re: Tiantai Meditation

Post by rory » Wed Feb 28, 2018 10:18 pm

Oops, sorry! my eye skipped a line and of course it was Saicho who received transmission from Xiuran of the Ox Head School.
gassho
Rory
Namu Kanzeon Bosatsu
Chih-I:
The Tai-ching states "the women in the realms of Mara, Sakra and Brahma all neither abandoned ( their old) bodies nor received (new) bodies. They all received buddhahood with their current bodies (genshin)" Thus these verses state that the dharma nature is like a great ocean. No right or wrong is preached (within it) Ordinary people and sages are equal, without superiority or inferiority
Paul, Groner "The Lotus Sutra in Japanese Culture"eds. Tanabe p. 58
https://www.tendai-usa.org/

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FromTheEarth
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Re: Tiantai Meditation

Post by FromTheEarth » Wed May 02, 2018 8:25 am

Not knowing so much about the Japanese tradition (where surely there is a strong influence from the Ox-head Zen School), I may only contribute from the Chinese perspective. I would strongly recommend this book written by the founder of the Tiantai School, Ven. Zhiyi:
https://www.amazon.com/Essentials-Buddh ... rds=zhiyi
Ven. Zhiyi has generally taught his disciples three versions/systems of meditation. Two have been mentioned in this thread, basically the "六妙法門 ('Six Subtle Dharma Gates') " mentioned by Coëmgenu, and the Maka Shikan/mohezhiguan by rory. If I have not overlooked, there is one more to be mentioned, his interpretation on the chapiter on Meditation from Nagarjuna's Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra. The last one might be the most "orthodox" from the Indian perspective, by the way.
However, these three versions are basically taught for the monks/nuns. For the laity, the book referred to above (Essentials) is traditionally recommended. For this is the book Ven. Zhiyi intentionally prepared for his brother (or cousin) CHEN Zhen, who was serving the army at that time. This book is brief, purposefully written for the laity, and systematic. In the Chinese Tiantai tradition, this book is also called the Hina/Brief/Small-samatha-vipasyana (小止觀), in contrast to the Maha-samatha-vipasyana (Maka Shikan/Mohe Zhiguan).

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Re: Tiantai Meditation

Post by Queequeg » Wed May 02, 2018 4:19 pm

FromTheEarth wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 8:25 am
Meditation from Nagarjuna's Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra
Thanks for your knowledgeable contributions.

What is the title of this text?
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

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Re: Tiantai Meditation

Post by FromTheEarth » Wed May 02, 2018 4:32 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 4:19 pm
FromTheEarth wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 8:25 am
Meditation from Nagarjuna's Mahāprajñāpāramitāśāstra
Thanks for your knowledgeable contributions.

What is the title of this text?
Nagarjuna's book is called 大智度論 in Chinese. Zhiyi's book is called An Explanation of the Dharma Gateway of Dhyāna Pāramitā (釋禪波羅蜜次第法門; T46.1916). As mentioned before, we traditionally categorize Zhiyi's teachings on meditation in three kinds as: 圆頓止觀(The complete and immediate samatha-vipasyana, which refers to the Mohe Zhiguan), 不定止觀(The indeterminate samatha-vipasyana, which refers to the Six Gates), and 漸次止觀 (The step-by-step samatha-vipasyana, which refers to this book).

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Re: Tiantai Meditation

Post by Queequeg » Wed May 02, 2018 5:25 pm

FromTheEarth wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 4:32 pm
An Explanation of the Dharma Gateway of Dhyāna Pāramitā
Is that one translated into English?
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

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FromTheEarth
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Re: Tiantai Meditation

Post by FromTheEarth » Wed May 02, 2018 10:43 pm

Queequeg wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 5:25 pm
FromTheEarth wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 4:32 pm
An Explanation of the Dharma Gateway of Dhyāna Pāramitā
Is that one translated into English?
To my knowledge, unfortunately no. I do hope in the future I may have enough time and strength to translate it, if no translation is yet available at that time.

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Queequeg
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Re: Tiantai Meditation

Post by Queequeg » Thu May 03, 2018 2:02 am

FromTheEarth wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 10:43 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 5:25 pm
FromTheEarth wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 4:32 pm
An Explanation of the Dharma Gateway of Dhyāna Pāramitā
Is that one translated into English?
To my knowledge, unfortunately no. I do hope in the future I may have enough time and strength to translate it, if no translation is yet available at that time.
There are at least a few people here who would cheer you on and be grateful for your efforts. :smile:
Those who, even with distracted minds,
Entered a stupa compound
And chanted but once, “Namo Buddhaya!”
Have certainly attained the path of the buddhas.

-Lotus Sutra, Expedient Means Chapter

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FromTheEarth
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Re: Tiantai Meditation

Post by FromTheEarth » Thu May 03, 2018 2:03 am

Queequeg wrote:
Thu May 03, 2018 2:02 am
FromTheEarth wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 10:43 pm
Queequeg wrote:
Wed May 02, 2018 5:25 pm


Is that one translated into English?
To my knowledge, unfortunately no. I do hope in the future I may have enough time and strength to translate it, if no translation is yet available at that time.
There are at least a few people here who would cheer you on and be grateful for your efforts. :smile:
Haha thanks!

SunWuKong
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Re: Tiantai Meditation

Post by SunWuKong » Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:58 pm

Anecdotally speaking, it's rather obvious that the "zhi" and "guan" aspects of meditaion in the seminal Tiantai texts are none other than the "shi" and "kan" of shikantaza the dual nature is also expressed in the words "Silent Illumination" - the seamlessness of this is rather underscored by the constant refrain of the two. This reminds me of the duality spoken of in describing Tai-Chi or Ha-Tha (also Buddhist in origin). I wish I had enough life-time remaining to look carefully at the history of mediation/contmeplative practices form the earliest Mahayana in India all the way down to the present. Sectarianism, -ism's and schisms aside, Zhiyi's accurate pin-pointing of the Middle Way, and it's significance is impressive to say the least. I want to personally say Thank You to everyone on this thread for having pointed it out to me. Speaking of Zen, and Soto Zen in particular, shikantaza is the core practice upon which all the other practices hang; Dogen researched this when he travelled to China, etc. etc., the point being, whilst "letting go" and dropping discrimination thinking, dropping mind and body, one drops away from dropping too. Dogen is explict on the topic of no-thought. Ultimately the concept of zazen itself must drop away.

:yinyang:
"We are magical animals that roam" ~ Roam

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Re: Tiantai Meditation

Post by WeiHan » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:45 pm

From my limited understanding of the Tiantai school from reading chinese materials, Master Zhi Yi wrote a practical repentance practice based on the last fascicle of Lotus sutra and The Samantabhadra Contemplation Sutra. The practice is indeed elaborated and detailed as someone has mentioned which very few people can keep to it these days. The interesting thing about this repentance practice that is not mentioned anywhere else except in the above two sutras mentioned is the confession of the sins of the six senses (six roots as the chinese translated it). This is then followed by meditation ( there are four types of meditation as someone already mentioned) or this can also be replaced by reciting one fascicle in Lotus Sutra. there can be a few sessions each day. It is will repeated until the entire 28 fascicles in the Lotus sutra are completed.

It seems that other than sitting meditation, the Tiantai masters believed that "Dharma flower samadhi" can be achieved by the above method. In fact, Zhi Yi emphasized in Mohe ZhiGuan that this repentance practice should be practiced as long as one has not attained the 'Dharma flower samadhi" yet. The name of this practice is called "Dharma Flower Repentance".

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Re: Tiantai Meditation

Post by Seishin » Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:54 pm

SunWuKong wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:58 pm
Anecdotally speaking, it's rather obvious that the "zhi" and "guan" aspects of meditaion in the seminal Tiantai texts are none other than the "shi" and "kan" of shikantaza the dual nature is also expressed in the words "Silent Illumination" - the seamlessness of this is rather underscored by the constant refrain of the two. This reminds me of the duality spoken of in describing Tai-Chi or Ha-Tha (also Buddhist in origin). I wish I had enough life-time remaining to look carefully at the history of mediation/contmeplative practices form the earliest Mahayana in India all the way down to the present. Sectarianism, -ism's and schisms aside, Zhiyi's accurate pin-pointing of the Middle Way, and it's significance is impressive to say the least. I want to personally say Thank You to everyone on this thread for having pointed it out to me. Speaking of Zen, and Soto Zen in particular, shikantaza is the core practice upon which all the other practices hang; Dogen researched this when he travelled to China, etc. etc., the point being, whilst "letting go" and dropping discrimination thinking, dropping mind and body, one drops away from dropping too. Dogen is explict on the topic of no-thought. Ultimately the concept of zazen itself must drop away.

:yinyang:
You may be interested in these two texts; 'Ch’an and Chih-kuan, T’ien-t’ai Chih-i’s View of “Zen” and the Practice of the Lotus Sutra' https://nirc.nanzan-u.ac.jp/en/files/20 ... 8-2003.pdf

And; 'Anti-Chan Polemics in Post Tang Tiantai' https://journals.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/i ... /8820/2727

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Re: Tiantai Meditation

Post by SunWuKong » Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:41 am

Thanks!
"We are magical animals that roam" ~ Roam

jake
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Re: Tiantai Meditation

Post by jake » Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:42 am

SunWuKong wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 3:58 pm
Anecdotally speaking, it's rather obvious that the "zhi" and "guan" aspects of meditaion in the seminal Tiantai texts are none other than the "shi" and "kan" of shikantaza the dual nature is also expressed in the words "Silent Illumination" - the seamlessness of this is rather underscored by the constant refrain of the two.
Can you speak more to this? I don't quite follow the link you're making here. The shikan in shikantaza (只管打坐) is not the same as found in shikan of Zhiyi's Stopping and seeing (止觀).

Apologies for being so thick headed.
“The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only. There is no stopping in the red zone."

SunWuKong
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Re: Tiantai Meditation

Post by SunWuKong » Mon Jun 11, 2018 10:59 pm

Ah, yeah. What I'm suggesting is that while outwardly he argued against ch'an, at the same time he transmitted some insights to his debate opposites, resulting in a kind of syncretism. Its only a theory, and I may never get a chance to explore it fully, but if you take the window of time between Zhìyǐ/Chih-i and Dòngshān Liángjiè/Tung-shan Liang-chieh, it suggests how शमथ, śamatha + vipaśyanā विपश्यना, in practical, but not theoretical terms, become Shikantaza or Silent Illumination, condensing hundreds if not thousands of years of evolution of a practice into a seamless whole that's never really changed that much. Like the Queen told Alice, six impossible things before breakfast
"We are magical animals that roam" ~ Roam

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Re: Tiantai Meditation

Post by SunWuKong » Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:05 am

Excerpt from wikipedia on "shikantaza" .... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shikantaza ...

Japanese has many homophones pronounced shikan, and this etymological mix-up about shikan 只管 "only; just" stems from a more commonly used word that translates the Sanskrit "śamatha and vipaśyanā," names for the two basic forms of Buddhist meditation: Japanese shikan 止観 "concentration and observation"[8] (as practiced by the Tendai sect), from Chinese zhǐguān 止觀 "[Buddhism] keep mental calm while observing the universe" (cf. the Mohe Zhiguan),[9] which compounds shi or zhǐ 止 "stop; stabilize; śamatha" and kan or guān 觀 "observe; contemplate; vipaśyanā".

[8] Watanabe Toshirō (渡邊敏郎), Edmund R. Skrzypczak, and Paul Snowden, eds. (2003), Kenkyusha's New Japanese-English Dictionary (新和英大辞典), 5th edition, Kenkyusha, 1125. This bilingual dictionary lists 止観 and 21 other words pronounced shikan (e.g., 仕官 "government service" and 弛緩 "relaxation") but not shikan 只管.

[9] DeFrancis (2003), 1267.

So maybe this is where I saw it, and made the leap, but how much it really matters is debatable: the early suttas only mention Dhyana, before the split into "śamatha and vipaśyanā", two forms of meditation, which in my opinion, the one always relies on the other. So to join them only makes sense especially in view of the 14th Chapter of Lotus Sutra where its all laid out in bare terms

just a theory

:reading:
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Re: Tiantai Meditation

Post by SunWuKong » Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:12 am

or maybe i read it all here?

http://sweepingzen.com/soto-zen/

Hongzhi, Dōgen and the Background of Shikantaza

by Taigen Dan Leighton
"We are magical animals that roam" ~ Roam

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Re: Tiantai Meditation

Post by SunWuKong » Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:52 am

Seishin wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:54 pm

You may be interested in these two texts; 'Ch’an and Chih-kuan, T’ien-t’ai Chih-i’s View of “Zen” and the Practice of the Lotus Sutra' https://nirc.nanzan-u.ac.jp/en/files/20 ... 8-2003.pdf

And; 'Anti-Chan Polemics in Post Tang Tiantai' https://journals.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/i ... /8820/2727
This is pretty heavy reading for me, still working on it. In my defence I'll say I didn't see your post until recently. Thanks again!
"We are magical animals that roam" ~ Roam

SunWuKong
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Re: Tiantai Meditation

Post by SunWuKong » Tue Jun 12, 2018 7:26 pm

SunWuKong wrote:
Tue Jun 12, 2018 4:52 am
Seishin wrote:
Wed Jun 06, 2018 4:54 pm

You may be interested in these two texts; 'Ch’an and Chih-kuan, T’ien-t’ai Chih-i’s View of “Zen” and the Practice of the Lotus Sutra' https://nirc.nanzan-u.ac.jp/en/files/20 ... 8-2003.pdf

And; 'Anti-Chan Polemics in Post Tang Tiantai' https://journals.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/i ... /8820/2727
This is pretty heavy reading for me, still working on it. In my defence I'll say I didn't see your post until recently. Thanks again!
Okay, got it. It's impossible to give any feed-back on all that. It's probably worth my time to read the entire translation of "Great treatise on Concentration and Insight" (摩訶止観 Mohe Zhiguan) of Zhiyi before saying shit about it.

However. The final passage about the "Mirror" I found interesting, because of Dongshan Liangjie's The Song of the Precious Mirror Samadhi 寶鏡三昧歌 could reference exactly this passage. It might be worth my comparing and contrasting.

I'll postpone theorizing further on samādhi/samāpatti until i digest more of these texts.

Thanks agin for your valauble help!!!
"We are magical animals that roam" ~ Roam

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